Life and work health

Are you living healthy?

Are you working “healthy”?

What is your life like, are you healthy?  And work?  Are you working “healthy”?  There are at least four aspects of work that can be heathy – or not, and here are some things you can do about each aspect:

A Healthy work environment?

  • What is the light like in your workspace?  Can you add a daylight desk lamp to give you more energy?   Can you take a break and walk outside in the daylight for ten to fifteen minutes at least once each day?

  • How is your eating situation? Do you have access to healthy fresh lunches and snacks?  Do you need to make a plan to bring food from home?  Are you drinking enough water or healthy drinks, and avoiding sugary sodas?

  • Are you able to get fresh air into your office space?  Can you “air” the room a couple of times a day to regenerate the oxygen levels?  If not, go take that walk, now!

  • Are you moving enough? Research says you are more productive if you work in shorter bursts and then move a bit in between.  So, do you work for 45-50 minutes and then go get a drink at the water cooler, or go up and down a couple of flights of stairs? Can you walk to where you eat lunch, if you eat out?  What else could you do?

Unhealthy work relationships?

How are your work relationships? I have a friend who when one part-time colleague shows up, her environment changes so much that she feels very uncomfortable.  She has decided to avoid working when that colleague is there, if at all possible. I have another friend who was being used against her will for “office politics”. She finally left that company, because she could not easily change the situation.  So, are you in a relatively good relational environment at work? Yes?  Good!  If not:

·     Can you change the situation- either work at home more, work in another office space, or something else?

·     Can you talk to somebody about it who can help you change the situation?

·     Can you live with it, at least for now?

If not, maybe you should start looking for a new situation, especially if the situation is making you feel unsafe, making you have sleepless nights, or making you ill.  My friend chose this route, maybe you should, too.

Are you working too much?

Some people may have to put in a long week every month or two, but if you are doing this consistently, you may be heading towards burnout.  Think about what you consider normal working hours. Think about this, and then google the normal work-week for your country.  Are you within 10-15% of that “normal” amount most of the time?  In Switzerland, it’s supposed to be 42 hours, so if you are working more than 48 hours on a consistent basis, well, consider what you can change, and do it fast!  Maybe you need a coach or supervisor to help you find ways of optimizing your way of working, maybe you need to delegate more.

No vacations? 

There are many people who really do not take their vacations.  Maybe it’s from fear of not getting everything done in time, or fear of getting too far behind while gone, or fear missing out on an opportunity.  When people make decisions based on fear, there is usually something negative (and possibly unhealthy) going on.  Watch out!  This can be a red flag!  Maybe you need to talk about those fears and find ways of getting around those issues.

We all need time away.  I finally was able to take about ten days off since our last break  and I am much better for it  I needed a break, as most business owners do.  

When was your last vacation?  Did you take all your vacation days last year? If not, why not?  Vacations are healthy ways of getting back not only energy, but also your creativity, which is needed for your work.  Also, we usually come back from with fresh perspectives after a good holiday.

So, how are you doing at life and work, health-wise?  What do you need to change?  How are you going to do it?

Have a healthy May!

Patricia Jehle